To use this book, you'll need a computer capable of running Windows 98 (or later), Windows Me, Windows NT 4.0 SP5 (or later), Windows 2000, or Windows XP, and Microsoft Access 2003 or Microsoft Access 2002 (part of Office XP). You'll find, however, that most of the solutions work just as effectively with prior versions of Access, in case you are supporting mixed-user environments. (We've provided all the solutions for the first 14 chapters in Access 2000 format, so that you can open them in Access 2000, Access 2002, or Access 2003. Some of the code will only run in Access 2002 or later).
The final four chapters include features new to Access 2003, and the samples there are guaranteed not to run in Access 2000, although some may work in Access 2002. To demonstrate the topics in Chapter 12, Automation, you'll need to have copies of Microsoft Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook. These applications aren't strictly necessary, but having them installed on your system will allow you to try out the example databases. Chapter 14 uses tools that are part of SQL Server, which you may also want to have accessible, along with the Northwind and Pubs sample databases that ship with SQL Server. Some of the solutions in Chapter 15 require you to own a copy of FrontPage and have access to a SharePoint Web server. You'll need a copy of Visual Basic 6.0 to complete the custom smart tag DLL sample shown in Chapter 16. The solutions in Chapter 17 require the Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1 and Visual Studio .NET 2003. .NET Framework 1.1 is available as a free download through the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) (See http://msdn.microsoft.com/netframework/technologyinfo/howtoget/). A 60-day Trial Edition of Visual Studio .NET 2003 that includes a copy of SQL Server Developer Edition (MSDE) is also available (See http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/productinfo/trial/default.aspx).